A rather damp and drizzly morning greeting the 12 players to the 20th Lancashire Open GC on 20/21 July, with beautiful hillside all around, hinting of sun to come, which it did eventually.
The initial stage was formed of 2 blocks of 6, all play all twice, single 13 point games. Local players and those from much further afield enjoyed some spirited competition. In the end Guy Scurfield topped Block A with 8 wins from 10, and Paul Rigge the same for Block B.
The 1st day ended with glorious sunshine which continued into day 2.
The quarter finals, due to be BO3 13 pt games, were sensibly amended by manager Abdul Ahmed to single 19 pt games, due to likely time constraints. All matches were hard fought and very close. Paul Durkin taking out Guy Scurfield at hoop 19; Tim King winning 10-8 over David Lloyd; Steve Jackson of the USA beat Ted Flaxman 10-9, and Paul Rigge beat Stuart Smith 10-6.
Semi final 1 saw Paul Durkin take on Tim King. An enthralling game, back and forth, Tim took game 1, Paul game 2, and it went all the way to hoop 13 on game 3, where possibly a bit of inexperience / nerves got the better of Paul who had a few chances to close out the match, but in the end Tim prevailed.
Semi final 2 saw Paul Rigge take on Steve Jackson, a slightly more 1 sided event, with local favourite Paul taking out Steve in 2.
So a Paul Rigge vs Tim King final. Paul edged the first game at hoop 13. The 2nd game was a total change, with Tim dominating and winning 7-1. So all go for game 3. A cautious start, both players unwilling to take too many chances. Paul edged ahead and won 7-4, a worthy & popular winner.
In the plate, Jane Tewson won 2 of her 3 matches and took the title from Libby Dixon on net hoops.
A special mention to Will Drake, who those of us from Dulwich had not met before and were very surprised to realise he is 96 years old, something that clearly overwhelmed Peter Haydon, who lost 7-6 to him in the last game.
The four Ascot Cup qualifiers from Pendle are Paul Rigge, Tim King, Stephen Jackson and Paul Durkin.
All in all a thoroughly enjoyable weekend event, well run and hosted by Pendle & Craven Croquet Club.
Full results are available on Croquetscores website.